I am honored God has chosen me to be an artist, life coach, and writer. I knew I wanted to be an artist in grade school when a boy flirtingly complimented me on a cat picture I'd drawn in class.
I knew I wanted to be a writer since high school when I heard other students laugh at a comical piece I'd written and when a teacher gave me an A+ on a story.
I knew I wanted to be a life coach in 2005 after watching the TV show Starting Over and when Katie Brazelton, founder of a coaching program, called me personally to extend an invitation to her course.
It's funny, how all through life we look for other ways to spend our time and earn our income. Most of my interests took a back seat as I raised my family. But once out from under the child-rearing calling, I looked here, there, and everywhere for what I might do next for real pay. You see, I found earning a personal income from life coaching, my artwork, or my writing was hit and miss.
Recently, I had an epiphany (aha moment) as I was working on my next book to be published. I'd just read Will Mancini's book Clarity Spiral (click the link to get your free copy). In it, Mancini describes his personal life journey of holding multiple careers before settling in on his one thing.
At first, I was gripped while reading, but when the book took a turn to focus on careers and leveraging your skills to prove to your boss your value. I felt left out (as usual). You see, after leaving my career as an administrative assistant to top executives years ago, other than a few work-from-home gigs (including life coaching and writing), I have been out of the workforce for 26 years. Much I was reading in Clarity Spiral didn't apply to me.
This isn't new, I've discovered most life purpose books (including Blueprint for Life) assume the reader has paid work--a career. I have not had much of that over the last 26 years.
So, what was the epiphany I had? While working on a new book I will self-publish, I described a bit of my life path. And then I wrote "I always knew I wanted to be a writer."
Quickly, the words echoed, They took me back to what I'd read in Mancini's book about finding our one thing. I decided perhaps I should take my writing even more seriously than I have been. Perhaps writing is my one thing and I need to quit looking elsewhere.
What Mancini doesn't talk about (which I was picturing while trying to fall asleep last night) is how a spiral is like a thread. My gifts have been common threads throughout my life. They are clues to calling.
Do you know what your common threads are?
Common threads will become apparent in all the roles we carry out.
So while Clarity Spiral didn't necessarily fit me, reading it has pushed me to keep writing for women like myself--at-home moms, homemakers, displaced women, work-from-home women, and retirees--women for whom books like that fall short.
Working in Kingdom Commodity
There is recognizing our calling, and then there is accepting it. There is embracing the meagerness of it, or fighting it.
It's easy to fall prey to gurus who tell us we can earn six-figures by living our calling. (Even Mancini has made over a million.) But if we aren't making three, four, or five digits from living our calling does that mean we quit? Does that mean it isn't vital or viable?
There are times God gives us callings that we don't receive direct pay from. I believe in kingdom commodity in that God provides for us and blesses us in other ways. One way he has done that for me is through my husband's pay. My husband always assures me it isn't his money, it is our money. Just when I'm whining about not making as much money as I could out at a real job, a pay raise or bonus seems to come through, or I get more article and book sales.
Now let me make it clear, I don't want to discount my or your abilities. One day I do hope to be better paid for my efforts. I want success for my readers too.
My comments are about what I've experienced to date. I have written and sold over 400 web content articles for pay, I have sold over $1,000 in Kindle books. My time to shine brighter may be in the days ahead. (I've asked God to sell some of my artwork in mass. I've prayed for a six-figure sale of artwork to somewhere like Disney for their hotels :) - why not?)
The question becomes: Will you live your life calling even if significant earnings aren't attached?
While we live in the world, the world's commodity is how we live. It cannot be ignored. It takes a strong-in-faith woman to put the desire for riches aside so she can focus on what God is calling her to do.
The Clarity Spiral suggests it's okay to have a number of careers along our life journey. Eventually we will get to where we are called to go. I like that idea especially as we see our own children changing jobs. Much can be learned at every stop.
I thrive on small affirmations. This week, I learned one of my books was given 5 stars by a stranger. Her review blessed me. Apparently, my book gave her hope for getting through the empty nest. Affirmations like this help me see the potential in what I do.
The book is called Help Me Lord, I'm Wilting...Rx for the Midlife Nest-Emptying Christian Woman (available on Amazon - all digital books can be read on any device including your laptop or computer. You may need to download an app, but it is easy to do). Here's the cover.
Consult God to direct you to how you should be focusing your time and energy. Then do what he lays on your heart. Resist doubt. Embrace your calling.